2022 Legislation Impacting Public Works Contracting
The 2022 Washington Legislative Session began on January 10 and adjourned on March 10. Legislators passed several policy measures, none of which had any significant changes affecting purchasing and contracting for local governments in Washington State.
However, of note this session was SB 5693, which includes a budget proviso that will fund a new effort between MRSC and the Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), a state-based agency that educates and advises businesses on government contracting. The purpose of this partnership is to provide additional education, technical assistance, and outreach around public works contracting to Washington local governments.
This blog will provide an overview of the budget proviso and share the plan for new training and outreach events for local governments.
Training and Technical Assistance for Local Governments
SB 5693 includes the following for fiscal year 2023 (July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023):
$1,400,000 of the general fund — state appropriation for fiscal year 2023 is provided solely for the department to contract with the municipal research and services center, in coordination with the Washington procurement technical assistance center, to provide training and technical assistance to local governments and contractors on public works contracting. Training topics may include utilization of supplemental bidding criteria, utilization of alternate public works, contracting, cost estimating, obtaining performance and payment bonds, and increasing participation of women-owned and minority-owned businesses.
The timeframe for program deliverables will be July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023.
MRSC’s Plans for Programming
With its expertise in providing services to local governments, MRSC is the lead agency for planning program deliverables, including focused training and technical assistance.
Training for local government staff and officials
Training content will be developed and presented to customers by MRSC staff and contracted, state-based subject matter experts on the following topics:
- Public works contracting principles and best practices,
- Utilization of supplemental bidding criteria, and
- Utilization of alternative public works contracting (i.e., job-order contracting, design build, and general contractor/construction management).
Technical assistance for local government staff and officials
MRSC has a long history of delivering technical assistance to local governments. Under this partnership with PTAC, we will expand to deliver the following:
- An updated Small Works Roster Guide, which covers Washington laws related to the use of a small public works roster for awarding public works contracts;
- The development of new webpages for alternative public works contracting by addressing topics like job-order contracting, design build, and general contractor/construction management;
- An expansion of public works samples and templates in our Sample Document Library;
- The development of a local government contracting equity toolkit with a focus on increasing the participation of women- and minority-owned businesses; and
- The creation of a new Public Works Resource Guide, which will provide examples of best practices for public works projects.
How Will this New Partnership Help Washington State Local Government?
Legislators in this session also passed a $17 billion transportation package that provides funding for new ferries, roadway maintenance, and public transportation improvements. In addition to the training and technical assistance efforts identified in this blog, MRSC and PTAC are coordinating a plan to schedule regional outreach events around the state to help local governments make the best use of these new funding resources. With such a high volume of new projects from this transportation package, it will be important for MRSC and PTAC to provide local government and women- and minority-owned businesses with the following 3Gs:
- Gaining education,
- Gaining visibility, and
- Gaining access to opportunities.
Funding provided from SB 5693 will assist with aligning resources to support an efficient and equitable forum for public works contracting, as opportunities will exist for more education and outreach for both local governments and public works contractors within Washington State. For more information on upcoming educational offerings or outreach events that will be coming to your area, please contact Josh Klika to be added to a distribution list for future notifications.
MRSC is a private nonprofit organization serving local governments in Washington State. Eligible government agencies in Washington State may use our free, one-on-one Ask MRSC service to get answers to legal, policy, or financial questions.